How did CT bills on street takeovers, police ticketing scandal fare?

How did CT bills on street takeovers, police ticketing scandal fare?  The Connecticut Mirror

How did CT bills on street takeovers, police ticketing scandal fare?

How did CT bills on street takeovers, police ticketing scandal fare?

Bills that passed

Body cameras: Senate Bill 5381 requires the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the Police Officer Standards and Training Council to update their guidelines on body-worn camera equipment to outline under which circumstances an officer shall not stop recording.

Under current policy, police are required to activate their body-worn camera equipment during any interactions with the public and can deactivate if they feel continuing to record could significantly interfere with an investigation.

Coerced debt: Senate Bill 123 seeks to provide recourse to victims of “coerced debt,” or debt that occurred in an individual’s name as a result of duress, intimidation or threat of force, by establishing a process allowing them to seek relief.

That includes requiring collection entities to initiate a thorough review of supporting documentation backing an individual’s claim of coerced debt, temporarily pause collection activities after it receives the necessary documentation and permanently stop collection activities if there is a finding of coerced debt.

Dyslexia screenings: Senate Bill 349 requires the Department of Correction to study its means to screen people in prison for dyslexia and submit a report on its findings to the legislature by the end of the year.

An earlier version of the bill would have called on the DOC to conduct dyslexia screenings for individuals within 60 days of their intake if they were not previously screened by the agency.

Juvenile justice: House Bill 5508 requires the establishment of a gender responsiveness subcommittee to identify gaps in statute regarding gender response work and develop a framework for maintaining sex trafficking police data. The subcommittee would collaborate with other committees to, among other things, make recommendations addressing specialized treatment in foster care for children experiencing sexual abuse or sex trafficking.

The proposal also updates the state’s “reentry success plan” for children released from the state’s custody to ensure the use of “credible messengers” as mentors for a period lasting up to two years and to ensure that the youths have access to job training programs. The reentry success plan seeks to help youths successfully reintegrate into their communities, while credible messengers are typically people with lived experience in the criminal legal system who have successfully transitioned back into society.

Wrongful incarceration: Senate Bill 439 makes people wrongfully convicted of a crime eligible to receive a payout if their conviction was vacated or reversed on “grounds consistent with innocence” as opposed to those dismissed on grounds of innocence or serious misconduct by a state agent.

The bill defines grounds consistent with innocence as “a situation in which a conviction was vacated or reversed and there is substantial evidence of innocence, whether such evidence was available at the time of investigation or trial or is newly discovered.”

Bills that didn’t pass

Cannabis: Senate Bill 444 would have established a sentence modification process for people charged with cannabis-related offenses that are no longer illegal. The proposal, which was also introduced last year, was not called to the Senate floor for a vote.

Correctional ombuds: Lawmakers and Gov. Ned Lamont recently struck a deal that would result in the governor and the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus working together to choose someone on an interim basis to serve as the state’s first independent watchdog over the state’s prisons, reopening the hiring process for the position, and selecting an official nominee around the start of 2025.

Decriminalization of psilocybin: House Bill 5297 would have reduced the penalty for possessing less than half an ounce of psilocybin from a crime that carries a possible prison sentence to a fine — $150 for a first offense and $200 to $500 for a second offense. Psilocybin is a chemical compound obtained from certain types of hallucinogenic mushrooms, according to the Office of Legislative Research.

Falsification of records: House Bill 5055, a response to the State Police ticketing scandal, would have explicitly made it a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, for any individual acting in a law enforcement capacity to intentionally falsify information in a law enforcement record.

Judicial selection: House Bill 5380 would have made adjustments to the process overseeing judicial nominations by changing the makeup of the Judicial Selection Commission from six attorneys and six non-lawyers to eight attorneys, each of whom has practiced law in Connecticut for at least a decade, and four non-lawyers.

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